The Slog’s Defra post of earlier today produced a response of unprecedented quality.

The earlier Slogpost about our need to import megatons of wheat has produced a massive email inbox, and I thank all those who wrote in with, on the whole, exceptionally well-informed views. Also for all those who threaded so constructively at the site. Some of the emailed stuff contains sound questions and solid data I think should be circulated more widely.

This from Frances Channon: “Where are these tons of wheat coming from and could it be GM frankenwheat?  Caveat emptor!  Defra and the weather forecasters are merely players.  Thinking back to Michael Fish and the hurricane, you can’t trust forecasts…..[and] beware the Del Monte pink pineapples – GM approved for human consumption.”

And from David Bodsworth: “Your comment about the short fall in food wheat is only one part. Here in Wales the price of supplement feed for the grazing cattle and sheep has gone up by 10 to 20 % this year, but the price for slaughter is at last years price  for cattle or dropping for sheep. The general view in mid Wales is that farms are going to reduce their stock levels to reduce the out going costs and try to rely on the fields  of grass for summer grazing and winter silage. One of our local feed mills is laying off 2 staff from a total of 8 so the knock on effect in this small local community is only just starting to be felt.

What are the ministry doing ? this mornings post is 2 forms to be filled in about the land I own and the animals / crops on it. This was all in the last lot done just before Christmas. The next thing from the ministry of Environment is a whole new mass of paper work to  apply for exemptions to burn tree trimmings spread ditch cleaning soils and to apply manure to fields. Each need accurate field sizes and estimates of materials used and is only valid for a specific time.”
Mark Rose writes to observe: “If you want to get involved in this then you step into the Global Cooling vs Global Warming debate. Basically Global Warming has taken over the organs of western governments which is why they and the Met are constantly surprised at what actually happens.
The Earth has switched into a Global Cooling mode which will have major impacts on food production and population. Look at Piers Corbyn on the Global Cooling debate. He understands the effects on Earth from the sun and the sun is going into cool mode, see sunspot cycles. For impact on food production look up presentations given by David Archibald in Australia.”
IW points out: “Wheat futures – in January 2013 they were $840, today $680….hedging in January/February would have been a very bad move.”
And last but definitely not least, Edward Spalton has published at length on the degree to which the CAP more or less cuts off Owen Paterson’s balls anyway. I should’ve taken more account of this: I don’t concur with all of Edward’s historical thesis, but at worst it is a fascinating insight into how Big is almost always Bad.
Great response, and an exemplar of what the Web should really be about.